Behind the scenes

ramblings12

With so many bloggers out there all typing up reviews for the same books, I always find it interesting to get a look behind the scenes. How do the other bloggers operate? How did they come up with their features? And how the heck do they get so many posts in?! Well, I do not have other bloggers helping me out. I am a one woman show and I’m going to take you behind the scenes of what it’s like for me to write my reviews.

 

 

P1040714

I do most of my blogging on the desktop. I have just never been able to get behind laptops. The pads of my hands always hit the mouse pad and before I know it, everything I wrote is gone. Plus, I just like having a desk to put stuff on. Normally it’s not as clean as it is now. Usually it’s a hot mess of papers and cat hair but I recently cleaned off the desk when The Mister was putting out new statues on top. Everyone has their thing. For me it’s books and for The Mister it’s his statues. I could do a whole other post on his statues because we have a huge walk-in closet filled with boxes from floor to ceiling. So yeah, he swaps them out every once in a while so they see the day of light.

Anyways… getting off topic there. When I’m reading a book I always have a piece of paper nearby. It’s usually a library receipt but anything lying around that isn’t important will get ripped up into little strips for my reading use. You see, when I’m reading, if I see anything important that I want to highlight in my review or any potential part/quotes that may make its way into the review, I put a strip of paper in the book like a bookmark. This drives The Mister crazy because there’s little paper confetti everywhere in the house.

As for writing the actual review, I find that I tend to be very forgetful when it comes down to actually writing them. I’m not one of those people who can read multiple books at the same time, or go back after months and write my review. I tend to mix facts, forget important things, and ultimately that review turns into a hot mess.  Which is why I always write my reviews before picking up the next book.  It may take me a day to form my thoughts and type up my review but I always do it before I start reading another book.  It’s not that I cannot remember anything from the last book I read, but the details do tend to get a little jumbled.  I was like this in school as well.  I would learn what I needed for a test and then purge myself of the information, learn the next chunk of the curriculum and then purge myself of the information after taking the test.  Don’t ask me how I managed to pass the finals at the end of the year.  I suppose I retained some of  the information.  That’s kinda of like how I read books.  Of course the ones that I love, I can remember everything about but the ones in between can be a bit fuzzy on the details.  Heck, there are times that I finish the book, go to write my review and I have to look at the Goodreads page to see what the main character’s names were because I’d already forgotten them. Yeah, that’s never a good sign.

I use Goodreads when typing up my initial review. I know I really shouldn’t do that because there was that one time where Goodreads glitched and deleted a few of my reviews and their ratings. That was a stressful time since I had a few days to re-read those books before my tour stop or before I’d agreed to post the review on the site. So, I try to remember to also save a copy of my review in Microsoft Word just in case something that like happens to me again but that doesn’t always happen. Old habits are just hard to break I suppose. So, if you want to read my reviews as I chug along, Goodreads is the place for that. The reviews will eventually make it up on the blog but some have been sitting there for years. >.<

If you haven’t noticed by now I don’t have a format or guideline when writing my reviews. It’s more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of thing. I literally finish the book, get my thoughts sorted out (or sometimes not), and then sit down in front of the computer and start clickity clackin’ on the keyboard. When I say that my reviews are “my thoughts”, it’s not just a saying. I pretty much type what pops in my head the moment it comes to mind. So my reviews may not always touch up on the same stuff like breaking down personalities, the main characters, world building, etc. However, I do try to start my review with the setting of the book, and finish my review with a conclusion paragraph on my final thoughts and whether I’d read more of the series or author’s work. So if you don’t want to read my ramblings in between, then you can always skip to the end and read my final thoughts. I would like to say though, that I think my ramblings can be quite entertaining. 😛

plannerWhen it comes time to actually post my review on the blog I look at my calendar book. I tried using an online calendar but again, like the desktop, I like to do it the old fashioned way. Different colors mean different things so that I know whether the post is a tour spot, an author requested spot, giveaway hop, or any random post/review I feel like posting. I try to schedule my normal reviews a week in advance so that while the reviews are posting I can do other blogger things like check out some of my favorite blogs or chat on Twitter. However, like all good intentions, sometimes I slip up and don’t realize that I didn’t schedule anything to go out for the week until like Wednesday. Whoops!

 

cat

She was doing this while trying to get a picture of the desk. See… told ya!

I think it’s pretty safe to say that no matter when I’m writing a review, or doing any sort of blog work, my cat always seems to know and she walks back and forth in front of the monitor, stepping on the keyboard.

 

 

 

 

cats

As I was editing this post my other cat decided to get in on the action

Needless to say, there is always cat hair all over my desk and keyboard. There are some times when she’s really relentless where I just throw my hands up in the air, save my place in the review, and walk away. Obviously, no work is getting done if I’m constantly being interrupted by a cat butt in my face every 20 seconds. Of course, the moment I stop what I’m doing to pay attention to her she walks away.

 

 

So there ya have it. It’s nothing special but it’s what I do. I’m not the most organized person in the world but it works for me… most of the time anyways. 😛

 

To all my fellow bloggers out there, do you have any quirks or must-haves when it comes to writing your posts?

kRISTIN

16 Thoughts on “Behind the scenes

  1. You look pretty organized to me 😉 Of course, cats always intrude, I have numerous pictures of my cats standing in front of the screen, stepping on the keyboard and generally spraying cat hair all over the place ! I also have one who likes to sleep on my arm, so no review writing then, lol

    • HaHA. My dog will do that. He’s a terrier mix and there have been times where he’s jumped in my lap and laid his head on my arm putting a stop to anything I was doing. As for my cats, they seem to know when I’m about to pull out the camera to take pictures because they stop whatever it was they were doing. I had tried to get a picture of my cat bugging me while working before but she would always jump down after the first set of flashes went off.

  2. I tend to do a lot of highlighting on my tablet, while reading. If I have a paperback, I have tons of flags and I use my phone to take notes of things as I go along.

    I have the hardest time writing reviews. If the review doesn’t just flow from my fingers, I get stuck. Usually, I wait for inspiration to hit me. I currently have 3 books to write reviews for. I tend to remember a lot of what happens with books, so I can get away with that (though I really shouldn’t). My reviews also tend to be long. I haven’t mastered the art of saying I like a book in four or five sentences and being down. I tell you about the characters and about what goes on, without telling you the whole journey of their story. At least, that’s my goal.

    My desk is messy, since EVERYONE puts everything on it. Probably four times a year, the desk gets cleaned. By cleaned I mean my husband gets a box and just puts whatever papers are on the desk in the box. If I need the papers I get them, if not, then they get trashed at some point. I just discovered cat hair this morning, apparently Fat Cat (She’s not really fat. She has tons of hair and everything thinks she is.) has decided that’s where she sleeps.

    • I like your usage of the phones camera feature. I am still rockin’ a flip phone so my screen is really tiny and grainy. LoL Although I do love the highlight feature on my Kindle. Aside from being able to own hundred of books and them not take up bookshelf space, the highlight feature if my favorite thing.

      I wish I could read books back to back and then go back and review them. Especially when I get stuck on writing a review. I find that when I’m really passionate about a book (either hated it or loved it) my review will be really long because there’s just so much I have to say about it. It’s those take-it-or-leave-it books that is like pulling teeth when it comes to writing a good review.

      That’s our kitchen table. It’s right in the front room of the house and collects all the mail and junk from throughout the day. Since we don’t actually eat at the table but instead the kitchen bar, it tends to collect quite a lot. >.< We do the same though, one of us will get fed up with it and just go in there with a grocery bag and anything that doesn't look remotely important gets thrown out. There have been some casualties in the year that we've lived at this place. LoL

  3. This was fun. I love reading about how other people review books. Every time I do though, I realize I should start taking notes when I read. Sigh!

    • I feel the same way. I’ve taken part in blogger events online and everyone always seems so much more organized and put together than I am. Makes me feel like a hot mess.

  4. You are so organized! I would write notes sometimes, but generally I get lazy. The most that I do now is use Goodreads for status messages that are my equivalent to notes.

    I do try and keep a reading calendar. I don’t follow it 100% , but it curbs my appetite for books. Prevents me from hoarding more.

    • Thanks. I don’t feel like I am most days. I’m a pretty lazy person when it comes to blogging. I try to be on top of things but then I get distracted by something else. I should really do the GR updates. I always worry that it will update on the GR feed though with all my random postings.

  5. I am a one woman blogger too. I write the bulk of my review when I am about 15-30% through the book because easier for me to avoid spoilers, and I already have a good feel for the characters, relationships, and plot.

    • Oh, it can be pretty difficult running it all on your own. Especially when you want a break, that means your whole blog goes on a break. I like the way you do your reviews though. I never thought about it that way. I try not to include spoilers but you’re right, all the spoilerish things come towards the middle portion of the book.

  6. LOL brilliant minds think alike! I have the same post topic scheduled for one of my randomly randoms next month. Heh So funny how that can happen!

    I’m totally with you on not being able to put off reviews. I am seriously AMAZED by readers who can do that or months later be able to remember specific scenes and such. I don’t usually finish my review before I move to the next but I do a heavy rough draft of all the things I want to talk about. Then I’ll let that set until I’m ready to polish it up. But really I don’t add much after that.

    I’m with ya on the print calendar too. The online ones never worked for me so print all the way. And the herd babe helpers too. G is ALWAYS trying to help me. I blame all my typos on her. ::snort:: Ear scritches to the herd babes!

    • Ha! We did the same thing way back when with a comments post. I had one all typed up and ready to go out and then I saw yours and was like :\ errrm. LoL I think it’s still sitting somewhere in the drafts. I need to pull it out and dust it off.

      Yeah my lil one definitely likes to “help out”. She does that to me every time I’m blogging. I get like a 30 minute window (if that) to get stuff done before she realizes I’m in the office blogging.

  7. I tend to highlight on my kindle, or if it’s a paperback I have extremely tiny sticky notes that I’ll flag the pages. I use a google calendar, but I color code it like you 🙂

    • My friends got me these tiny stick tabs that are in the shape of cat heads. Extremely cute. So cute I never use them. LoL >.< I'd much rather waste an old receipt than use up all my kitty tabs.

  8. I’m also a one-woman show and we have a lot of similar habits. I used to take notes, more for refreshers during series reading, but I stopped doing that. So, like you, I have to write a review right after I finish. I find that if I write a off-the-top-of-the-head GR review right away when I log the book in as read, I can then copy and paste that review to my blog post and fill it in with more details. I also use an old-school calendar to keep track of posts, though I don’t color code it. Loved this post 🙂

    • Sounds like we do the same thing. I love GR. It’s such a nifty website. Glad to know that I’m not the only one rocking the old school calendars instead of going electronic. Like I said, I’ve tried but I just can’t get the hang of it. I forget to check it online, whereas my calendar book is right on the desk staring at me. However, I need my different colors. Not only is it fun to look at but it lets me know if I need to get my rear in gear or not.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation